Pakistani Ambassador to the United States, Asad Majeed Khan. APPAsad Majeed Khan says Pakistan has expressed its expectations that everyone’s rights should be respected. The envoy added that “instead of making give and take on these issues, what is really important right now is to avoid a humanitarian crisis.” The ambassador said Pakistan’s role as an ally in the decimation of Al Qaeda and in the peace negotiations in Afghanistan should be taken into consideration.
WASHINGTON: Pakistan is monitoring the ability of the new Taliban government in Afghanistan to deliver on human rights commitments and promises it made to the international community before granting it recognition, Ambassador Asad Majeed Khan said.
“That the Taliban really honor these (commitments) is their call,” the Pakistani envoy said in an interview with The Washington Diplomat, an independent monthly newspaper that serves the diplomatic community in the US capital.
“But we basically set our expectations, which is that we want everyone’s rights to be respected,” he said, when asked under what conditions Pakistan would recognize the Taliban government.
“We want Afghan territory not to be used against any other country, including Pakistan. We want human rights and women’s rights to be preserved.”
At the same time, Ambassador Khan said Pakistan believes that “instead of making give and take on these issues, what is really important at the moment is to avoid a humanitarian crisis” .
“At the moment,” he said, “what’s really important is not to let things fall apart. Obviously there is a new reality, which is a government under Taliban. “
“The international community must make a choice: between getting involved and that does not necessarily mean recognition and abandonment.
Responding to a question about Islamabad-Washington relations, he said since September 11, Pakistan has essentially been seen through the prism of Afghanistan.
“I can tell you that today we are on the same side in terms of interests and expectations in Afghanistan: the United States wants to see the conflict end; this is also what we want. And we would like to see what Afghanistan wins has made over the past decades are preserved. “
Asked about the impression in the United States that Pakistan supports extremist groups, Ambassador Khan said a thorough examination of the facts was needed.
“Pakistan has been a partner and a close ally in the decimation of Al Qaeda and in setting up the peace negotiations (on Afghanistan),” he said, saying it was regrettable that Pakistan be associated with a lot of negative news.
Regarding Indo-Pakistani relations, he said: “Unfortunately, we have a government in India which is fundamentalist and ideological, which believes in unilateralism and which has unfortunately rejected all our peaceful overtures.”
Prime Minister Imran Khan publicly extended his hand of friendship to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, he said, noting that he had chosen to indulge in military adventurism.
“The situation in Kashmir continues to be very bad. Pakistan wants to resolve all its differences through engagement and dialogue. Our two countries have no other choice but peace,” he said.
The envoy’s remarks came as the United States made it clear to Pakistan that it does not want the country to recognize the Taliban government until it grants women their rights and allows Afghans who wish to leave the country to do so.
Pakistan, however, had already indicated earlier that although it welcomes the “peaceful” transfer of power in Afghanistan, it will not take a unilateral decision to recognize the Taliban government.
In a call with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken shortly after the Taliban came to power, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said Pakistan would remain engaged with Washington and other international partners in promoting efforts to support a peaceful and stable Afghanistan.
“Pakistan will not take unilateral decision to accept Taliban government […] we are in contact with other countries and will take a decision in agreement with the world powers, ”he said.
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